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Thursday, February 27, 2020

62 Million Americans Voted for Trump, Only 6 Newspapers Endorsed Him

By On February 27, 2020
Warren Buffett started the year by dumping his portfolio of 30 newspapers in a fire sale. After having spent $344 million on a stable of local papers including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Buffalo News, and the Omaha World-Herald, the Oracle of Omaha had to let them go for a mere $140 million.

“They’re going to disappear,” Buffett said of the papers. “It went from monopoly to franchise to competitive to ... toast.”

In February, McClatchy, the country's second largest local newspaper chain, the owners of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Miami Herald, the Kansas City Star, the News & Observer, the State and many other major local papers, filed for bankruptcy.

We’re barely into 2020 and the apocalypse which wiped out 7,800 media jobs in 2019 is speeding on. That was down from the 15,000 media jobs lost in 2018, but only because it’s hard to cut jobs that don’t exist anymore. By the end of the decade, there will be no local newspapers. Only a few national ones.

The internet is certainly to blame, but digital media took nearly as bad a beating as dead tree media with the Gawker relaunch, the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and many other lefty digital darlings bleeding.

On CNN, the Miami Herald's Julie Brown claimed that the lack of local newspapers, "has contributed to the divisions that we're experiencing around the country."

The media has been making similar claims for a year now based on a dubious study. But the problem with the papers in the McClatchy, Gannett, Tribune, or other media stables is that they’re echoes of the same national agenda repackaged for a local audience. In the age of the internet, readers are cutting out the middleman and watching CNN or MSNBC, or reading the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Who needs a third-rate local lefty version when you can just buy access to the real lefty thing?

Local papers aren’t really local. They’re investments owned by lefty tycoons like Warren Buffett. As the investments become hopeless, they’re turning into non-profits owned by lefty tycoons like Jeff Bezos. If the local paper is just going to consist of recycled talking points from the Washington Post or the New York Times, then who needs the “local” paper? Local communities don’t. That’s why they’re dying.

The local newspaper is dead. The national media writing its eulogies long ago fired the fatal shot.

What local media markets are really missing is diversity. Vital media markets used to have dueling papers. There are fewer dueling papers and even fewer conservative ones. Of the 100 largest papers in the country, only 2 endorsed Trump in 2016. Only 6 papers endorsed Trump across the country.

It’s telling that “local” newspapers wouldn’t support a candidate that local communities voted for.

How representative are local papers when 62 million people voted for a presidential candidate who went on to win the election that only 6 papers endorsed? Who are those papers really representing?

Why would any of those 62 million people bother reading newspapers that have nothing to say them?

The 6 papers that endorsed Trump were mostly locally owned. 4 were either family-owned local papers or had a single owner. Another was a publishing group of 2 papers. Only one was a smallish media group. These are true local papers because they are locally owned and represent the local population.

The local newspaper died long ago when it vanished into the maw of national media groups which made them interchangeable. The absence of political diversity was a reflection of hiring practices that reflected the political views of national corporations, instead of the perspectives of local communities.

McClatchy is headquartered in Sacramento, California. Tribune is based out of Chicago. Gannett is run out of McLean, Virginia, less than a half hour away from Capitol Hill.

There's nothing local about any of this.

The media groups hollowed out local papers. A single dominant local paper with national standing because of its role in a media group often functioned as a virtual monopoly for a particular area. But these miniature versions of the Washington Post weren’t widely read outside local government and business leaders. They were local chapters of a national influence operation with a bad business model.

That’s why the media is upset at the decline and fall of the corporations that controlled local news.

The media keeps insisting that local newspapers are a vital civic institution. But, as the other Marx once said, “Who wants to live in an institution?”

People invest in institutions to the extent that they reflect their values and worldview. Civic comes from the Latin ‘civis’ or citizen. Civic institutions that are not rooted in the civitas are foreign bodies. No institution that usurps the citizenry can be anything other than an engine of cultural colonialism.

Partisan civic institutions are, like the Holy Roman Empire, neither civic nor institutions. They’re the propaganda operations of a political faction which are maintained with money diverted from taxpayers and with funding from wealthy interests connected to that faction. They have no institutional future.

The Left launched its bid for power by hijacking institutions and, in doing so, destroying their legitimacy. Hijacking institutions allows radicals to temporarily wield their power at the cost of crashing the plane. That’s how the institutional legitimacy of academia, the media, and the entertainment industry died.

America is not divided because local newspapers are dying. They’re dying because they’re on one side of the divide. True institutions reflect the diversity of the civitas. False institutions reflect only themselves.

The newspaper business is much more vital and interesting in cities like New York and Boston that still have conservative papers. Discussion and debate are dynamic when there’s more than one point of view. That’s another reason why the people who used to read newspapers moved on to the internet.

The media is an echo chamber. A false institution that does not listen to the citizenry, only hectors it.

And the voice of its echo chamber is losing power.

Trump won even though only a handful of papers endorsed him. He won the White House over the opposition of the big media conglomerates that are racing each to bankruptcy court.

The media makes much of its endorsements. But how much do they really matter?

In one survey 69% of Americans said that a newspaper endorsement of a candidate would have no impact on their vote. 14% said that it would make them more likely to vote for and 14% more likely to vote against. Newspaper endorsements of political candidates couldn’t possibly matter any less.

An older survey however noted that endorsements by “independently owned papers seemed to influence readers more than larger and group-owned papers”.

True local newspapers can still be trusted. Conglomerate papers posing as local aren’t.

Local papers were once local. When they went national, they stopped being civic institutions. The lack of endorsements for Trump and the lack of political diversity are symptoms of the problem. When newspapers became a partisan institution, they stopped being relevant to the lives of much of the country. And they also stopped being interesting even to those readers who agreed with their politics.

As Buffett put it, they “went from monopoly to franchise to competitive to ... toast.”

Trying to subsidize them as non-profits with tech money from Silicon Valley, as Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon are doing, won’t change that. Take it from Warren Buffett who lost a fortune trying.






Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Mark Zuckerberg Funds a Plan to Turn California Into a Silicon Valley Ghetto

By On February 26, 2020
Why do people live in California? The weather is nice and so are the property taxes.

Unlike a lot of blue states where property taxes make home ownership all but impossible for working class and even middle class families, California has the 16th lowest property taxes in the country. These low rates have allowed California homeowners and businesses who predated the dot com boom to survive in a state and in municipal areas that are rapidly becoming unaffordable to all but a small few.

While housing prices are skyrocketing, property taxes are fixed at the time of sale with assessments limited to 2% increases a year due to Proposition 13 or the People's Initiative to Limit Property Taxation.

The 1978 proposition dates back to a time when the state’s taxpayers protected their own financial interests. After a string of successful tax increases and debt hikes, Proposition 13 is on the chopping block. The choppers have been clever enough to introduce a partial repeal that will remove protections for commercial real estate while, for now, promising to preserve them for homeowners. But, it goes without saying, that Proposition 13 protection for homeowners will be the final stage of the assault.

Splitting the assault on commercial and residential real estate in two divides the opposition and allows it to be picked off separately by the oligarchy of unions, non-profits and dot coms that run California.

That’s why every other commercial on local television is either for Michael Bloomberg or the push to tax commercial properties at market value. The commercials are almost comically misleading, the most frequent offender features a supposed firefighter with a soul patch who claims that the money is needed to stop natural disasters from affecting schools. There are also ridiculous claims that the $11 billion in projected revenue is needed to save children from school drinking fountains tainted with lead.

Seven years ago, the Los Angeles Unified School District spent $1.3 billion to hand out 650,000 iPads to all its students, but, for some reason, didn’t get around to removing those lead pipes. California schools keep blowing through enough billions to finance a dozen small countries while always crying poverty.

And the guy behind many of those ads, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, is the 4th richest man in the world.

With a net worth of over $79 billion, Zuckerberg could replace every pipe in California and not even notice the cost. But instead the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, the name of the charity and political organization of one of the world’s wealthiest couples, has spent $2.1 million to raise other people’s taxes even after Facebook had used Ireland as a tax shelter to avoid paying taxes in the United States.

Zuckerberg’s assault on Proposition 13 could wipe out small businesses in California as the tax increases from commercial real estate get passed down to small business tenants. Meanwhile Facebook is fighting the IRS in court over its Irish tax scam to avoid paying the $9 billion in taxes that it owes.

Facebook falsely claimed that its international headquarters was in Dublin even as an email by Sheryl Sandberg, its COO, admitted that it was a tax shelter and the "international headquarters" would be "tiny." Instead of paying its taxes, Facebook’s CEO wants to raise taxes for small businesses.

Despite claims that this initiative is philanthropic, shifting the tax base from income tax to property tax would be personally profitable. The Facebook IPO was big enough to have had a significant impact on California’s budget. Zuckerberg was personally on the hook for $200 million. Other employees and investors were good for over $2 billion in state taxes. Additional stock sales the next year reportedly cost the Facebook boss billions in federal and state taxes. The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative gets its funding from Zuckerberg’s Facebook shares. CZI is going to war against small business for its own profit.

So much for Mark’s charity.

California’s middle class gets wiped out while Mark Zuckerberg gets closer to that fabled $100 billion.

Schools and Communities First, the PAC funded by millions in dirty Facebook money, touts the backing of unions, the ACLU, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, and assorted radical leftist groups, but CZI is the one that really matters. The unions and politicians, two sides of the same crooked coin, are obviously in it for all the money that they can squeeze out of embattled California taxpayers. And, in its own way, so is CZI.

Wiping out property tax protections won’t hurt the big dot com firms like Facebook. But it will make it even harder for any prospective rivals to function in an area with impossible rents and the highest housing costs in the country. That’s why one startup was charging $1,200 in rent for bunk beds for aspiring Zuckerbergs who “want to focus on their startups”, but can’t actually afford to live there.

The pressures of commercial rents are already catastrophically punishing. Zuckerberg’s move to crush commercial real estate protections will significantly raise the cost of doing business for competitors without Facebook’s deep pockets, potentially reduce future income tax impacts on his own vast fortune and those of many Facebook employees, and leave behind chaos as Facebook expands elsewhere.

The dot com has shifted its strategy in the last two years from massive expansion in Menlo Park and San Francisco to Zuckerberg’s announcement to Facebook employees last year that the area is “tapped” and that the company would be expanding outside the Bay Area. And now that the area is “tapped”, Zuckerberg can nuke it from orbit and make sure that other companies will have trouble affording it.

Meanwhile Zuckerberg and Facebook get props for their social justice. That’s CZI’s mission statement.

The collateral damage from this Silicon Valley civil war will extend far beyond helping Zuckerberg’s net worth hit eleven figures, and the pressure cooker of the Bay Area which is on the verge of exploding.

The downward pressure of commercial property tax hikes will turn much of the rest of California into the Bay Area with impossible rents squeezing out small businesses and the people that depend on them. If you want to see the future of California, imagine a handful of dot coms, satellite startups, and the businesses owned by them, from Whole Foods to the leftovers of the entertainment industry, and gig economy delivery services making up the leftovers of the economy. And a whole lot of poor people living in housing subsidized by dot coms like Facebook, which dumped $1 billion into affordable housing, and taking tech vans for hundreds of miles to do grunt work for the tech masters of the universes.

The California Schools And Local Communities Funding Act is a dot com trojan horse that would turn the state into a Silicon Valley ghetto while wiping out the protections that made a middle class life possible.

Facebook has already transformed the virtual geography of social relationships. The Proposition 13 modification would have an equally devastating effect on the physical geography of California. And it’s a potential testbed for Zuckerberg’s initiatives that will extend far beyond California’s borders.

The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative draws on nearly limitless funding and its subset, Chan-Zuckerberg Advocacy, has seen only limited use of its power to back a pro-crime initiative in Ohio and tax hikes in California. But fully unleashed, CZI could fundamentally reshape states and cities for the power and profit of one of the wealthiest men in the world. It’s already reshaping California. For the worse.






Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A Two-Year Terror Campaign Against One Small GOP Office

By On February 25, 2020
Early Saturday morning, a bearded perpetrator in a hooded jacket, wearing gloves, smashed the glass door and windows of the Humboldt Republican headquarters with rocks. He poured an unknown liquid into the storefront office before escaping on a bike into the streets of Eureka in the pre-dawn hours.

There was one obvious clue. The bike had a giant BERNIE sticker on it.

When police caught up to the alleged perpetrator, Michael Valls attempted to escape on his bike, then he tried throwing the bike at the cops, and, when he was finally taken into custody, gave authorities a false name. But police caught him with the Trump flag that he had stolen from the vandalized office.

The Bernie Sanders supporter was charged with burglary, felony vandalism, attempted arson, resisting arrest, and providing a false name. The chemical liquid he had poured inside the office turned out to be flammable. Bail was set at only $25,000, and Valls was out of prison by Sunday. It is California after all.

And in an atmosphere of rising radical violence, maybe this story wouldn’t be so extraordinary.

But this wasn’t the first time that this happened to the Humboldt GOP HQ. It was the sixth time.

Not in a decade, but in only two years.

The small hole in the wall office on 5th Street in Eureka, unprepossessing tan walls, blue framed windows and single door, could just as easily be the bar next door or the burger place across the street. Aside from its narrow “Republican Headquarters” sign, it could just as easily be mistaken for a small business.

The 300 block of 5th Street with a Starbucks and Wells Fargo, adjacent to two motels and an AV shop, seems like an unlikely place for a pitched battle between radical leftism and the national norms. But that’s exactly what the extended campaign against the modest storefront with its “Republicans Register Here” notice and Trump signage on a street in this small 27,000 population city represents.

The small office with its American flag fan banners, a few tables and a bookcase is on the front line of a new war between radical leftist extremists and remaining conservatives in a formerly conservative area.

The windows of the office had been previously smashed in April of last year, before the release of the Mueller report. Like this latest attack, that assault had happened late at night over the weekend. After smashing through the windows with rocks, the “Make America Great Again” sticker was replaced with a “Keep America Green” sticker from the Sierra Club. Nothing says environmentalism like vandalism.

Eureka lefties justified the attack because the office has large cardboard cutouts of Reagan and Trump.

In March 2019, a window had been smashed. In August of 2018, the office was vandalized again, leaving behind signs reading, “Fake President Impeach + Indite”, “45 = Lies House of Lies”, and “Guantanamo and Torture x 20 Years 45 and all supporters." A “Make America Great Again” sign had been crossed out and the elephant on the “Republican Headquarters” sign had been defaced.

A month earlier, President Trump had nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

The windows of the Humboldt Republican Headquarters have been broken three times in two years. They’ve been covered with plywood so often that it’s become a familiar sight. And while this latest incident was the most severe, previous episodes of vandalism had marred the windows, defaced signs, and tried to cause as much damage as possible with whatever the leftist vandals had at hand.

This latest attack is expected to cost thousands of dollars in repairs. Previous acts of leftist vandalism had cost in the $700 range.

And despite the leftist signs, the Eureka Police Department dismissed it as “random vandalism”.

"The local police say, ‘Oh, it’s random vandalism,’ except it’s happened five times to us and nobody else,” Humboldt County GOP Chairman John Schutt said.

"This is the 5th time in two years and on prior occasions I have been told these are random acts of vandalism. Interesting the Democrat Office has not had any 'random acts of vandalism'", the Humboldt GOP noted last year.

There’s nothing random about 6 attacks on a Republican office either carried out by identifiable lefties, leaving behind leftist signage, or specifically defacing Republican signage. That’s as deliberate as it gets.

But Humboldt County, once a Republican area, had swung leftward. And the HQ has become a symbol of everything that the new radical population hates. During the Kavanaugh debate, lefty protesters had gathered outside the small office with signs like, “Party of the Predators” and “Stop Rapeublicans”.

The lefty protesters targeted the office even though it had nothing to do with Kavanaugh and had already been vandalized two months earlier.

When local lefties can’t get to D.C. marches, they target the Humboldt County HQ. That’s where opponents of the Bill of Rights appear toting signs like "Massacre Mitch" and "Republicans: Shame on you!"

Reagan was the last Republican to win Humboldt County which has passed its own sanctuary measure. And Eureka, with its large homeless population and regular anti-Trump protests, leans lefty.

The Humboldt County Republican headquarters has faced a uniquely sustained assault on its existence. It is not the only Republican office to be targeted for vandalism and harassment, but the persistence of the attacks and the general disregard of the authorities, is unique and revelatory. This is the first time an arrest has been made despite the presence of surveillance equipment and attackers who leave handwriting samples. And the one man arrested for this latest incident is already back on the street.

“This is about your friends and neighbors and coworkers and people you live with here. It’s just sad that we can’t exercise our First Amendment rights in peace,” Schutt noted back in 2018. “There is not one member of my party here that would go down and do this down the street at the Democrat office.”

The Humboldt County Democrats enjoy an all-glass office on 4th Street. If there were a random violence problem, somebody would have taken a rock to it by now. That’s because there’s nothing random here.

The sustained assault on the Humboldt County Republican headquarters is not the work of one man, but of a culture of intolerance and hatred. It can be summed up by the Bernie sticker on the bike that the vandal threw at law enforcement as he was trying to make his getaway from the scene of the crime.

In 2017, James Hodgkinson, another Bernie Sanders supporter, came to a Republican charity baseball game with a list of the names of Freedom Caucus members and opened fire. The FBI coverup of that attack, which falsely claimed that it was a spontaneous act with no motive, has yet to be investigated.

Like the “random vandalism” in Eureka, the assassination of Republicans was also treated as random.

Civil wars begin in small ways. They’re born out of intolerance. A refusal to coexist. A failure to enforce the law. To punish violence against people different than the ones who hold political power.

In recent weeks, Project Veritas Action has released videos of Sanders staffers threatening violence before and after a possible victory. The media has maintained a tight ban on covering these videos.

In Jacksonville, Florida, earlier this month, Gregory Timm drove a truck into a Republican voter registration tent to take a stand against President Trump. It is no coincidence that the attacks on the Humboldt County Republican headquarters are linked to Trump’s victory. Or that they’ve been excused by some local lefties because the GOP HQ dared to have Trump material on the premises.

There is nothing random or isolated about the reality that the Democrats have become radicalized.

Radicalism doesn’t just mean the embrace of increasingly extreme policies from denying basic biology to taking away everyone’s health insurance to demanding open borders and suppressing free speech.

There is no meaningful separation between extreme policies and extreme tactics. Anyone willing to take away your rights is also willing to put a rock through your window. That’s what we’re seeing in Eureka.

And across America.





Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.


Monday, February 24, 2020

Hating Trump Can’t Unite the Democrats

By On February 24, 2020
The Democrat presidential primaries have been a long politically correct apology tour.

Joe Biden was forced to apologize for opposing crime and busing. Bernie Sanders had to offer up
mea culpas for ever being on good terms with the NRA and for questioning open borders, Kamala Harris had to apologize for enforcing whatever passes for the law in California, as did Amy Klobuchar, who also had to apologize for having once supported border fencing and English as the country’s national language.

After jumping into the race, Michael Bloomberg launched his own apology tour for trying to stop gang violence with ‘stop and frisk’, for criticizing Obamacare, and the easy loans that wrecked the economy.

No candidate, no matter how lefty, is ever truly pure enough for the party of the perpetually woke. Any politician old enough to run for the White House also has a history of believing in things like borders, language, biology, math, law and order, free speech, and any other realities that offend the Wokeratti.

Only a candidate who has done nothing except chastely spout radical nonsense can pass the purity test.

That’s why Bernie Sanders, a hack from a minor state who, until being excavated by some Obama campaign people who hadn’t gotten a gig with the Clinton campaign, was an obscure nobody who had done nothing except rename post offices, is leading the Democrat death march to political oblivion.

There may be 48 years worth of difference between Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders, but they both have the same amount of experience getting anything done in Washington D.C. The only thing they’ve ever done in his long and her short career is lay out imaginary visions of socialist utopias without having the life skills to change a flat tire, catch a bus, or make their own breakfast.

The Democrats have become a party divided between the moderates, obsessed with destroying Trump, and the socialists, obsessed with destroying the Democrats. The emerging representative of the former is Bloomberg: a billionaire willing to blow through 1.5% of his net worth to stop President Trump. And Bernie represents the vanguard of the oppressed proletariat of Burlington, San Francisco, and Aspen, who are slightly to the right of Castro, but, like their leader, have no clue how to get anything done.

Bloomberg represents the core Dems who don’t care about anything except beating Trump, while Bernie represents the radicals who care less about beating Trump than about beating the Bloombergs.

The average Democrat outside the DNC doesn’t understand this distinction. That’s why Bernie is leading.

In the party’s current electability obsession, any candidate who does well is electable and can beat Trump. That includes Bernie Sanders, a talking horse, and Amy Klobuchar. Biden maintained the lead for so long because he seemed electable. Details like what he actually believed and whether he was playing with a full deck were deemed irrelevant. Those same details also don’t matter when it comes to Bernie.

But that just meant that the Democrats outsourced policy to the radical fringe that cares about issues.

That’s why the 2020 primaries have seen Democrats endorse gun confiscation (Beto O’Rourke), letting the Boston Marathon bomber vote from prison (Bernie Sanders), eliminating private health insurance (Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren), eliminating free speech on the internet (Warren), and taking away the tax exempt status of churches and synagogues that don’t back gay marriage (O’Rourke).

These are not winning issues.

Most Democrats claim they want electable candidates, but they’re going into 2020 with unelectable policy proposals hanging around their necks that will alienate the average voters they need to win.

House Democrats could have changed that, instead they were sucked into the impeachment black hole. And no matter how much Speaker Pelosi resisted, the one part of elected government that the Democrats control is best known for an obsession with Trump and a disinterest in everything else.

Hating Trump isn’t a winning strategy. The post-impeachment polls showed that all too clearly.

But it’s either that or nationalizing health care, confiscating guns, banning churches and letting terrorists vote from prison. And those are even worse platforms to run on than Trump Derangement Syndrome.

The Democrats are now on track to have a nominee who once said, "I don't mind people coming up and calling me a communist” because they didn’t care about anything else except destroying Trump.

And, instead, they’re destroying themselves.

The Democrats have locked their party into only one possible strategy and that’s turning out as much of their base as possible. But turnout signals from the primaries have been mixed and large-scale national events like the Impeachment Eve rallies and the Women’s March fizzled badly with few attendees.

The white suburbanites whose cultural hostility fueled the “resistance” appear to be fading. Despite their hatred of Trump, they’re wary of socialism. And a Sanders win would depress their turnout. But a win by anyone except Sanders will depress turnout by his base of Marxist profs and unemployed vloggers. None of the leading candidates summon much enthusiasm from black voters.

Massive turnout requires a united party. And that was a lot easier when they were uniting against something.

2018 saw great turnout because the Democrats rallied around their common front of hating Trump. But uniting against Trump is very different than uniting behind Bernie, Bloomberg, or any other candidate.

Hatred is a powerful force. But it’s no substitute for leadership.

Republican primaries have seen massive turnout because of support for President Trump. A united party is set to face off against a divided party. And that is very bad news for the subdivided Democrats.

Hatred doesn’t unite political movements. It divides them.

Any political movement that depends on division is inherently fractured. The deeper the divisions become; the harder Democrats hate their common enemy. But underneath that common hatred are a thousand festering hatreds, rivalries and resentments, waiting to break out into internecine warfare.

The Democrats are now at risk of winding up with a brokered conviction because hate divided them.

In the Trump Derangement Syndrome era, the Democrats no longer really stand for anything and are willing to fall for anything, from radical ideologies to billionaires and socialists buying the nomination.

Hatred has hollowed out the Democrats leaving behind nothing but a great empty void.

The primaries are the dark night of the Democrat soul. The party’s soul has fed on poisonous hatred. Morning has come to America. But morning may never come to the Democrats divided in darkness.





Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

How the 'Interpreter' Scam Brought 75,000 Iraqis and Afghans to America

By On February 22, 2020
The latest battle over Special Immigrant Visas pitted Stephen Miller, President Trump’s senior advisor, against the Pentagon. The military brass was lobbying for 6,000 special immigrant visas for Iraqis who worked for American forces in the country. These visas were once again billed as helping “interpreters”.

That’s a lot of interpreters considering that there were only 5,200 American troops in Iraq.

How could there be more Iraqi interpreters for American troops than there are troops?

The Special Immigrant Visa scam has been sold for over a decade using the same claim that it’s needed to save the lives of Iraqi and Afghan interpreters who are risking death by helping American soldiers.

In one decade, the United States has handed out 75,250 of these visas to Iraqi and Afghan employees, and their dependents. Between 2007 and 2017, they represented 1 percent of all immigrant visas.

The truth is that the military brass has wrongly used the incentive of Special Immigrant Visas to recruit local personnel and cut costs by promising them resettlement in the United States. Considering the costs of resettling even the nicest Iraqi or Afghan families, it would have been cheaper to pay each of them a six-figure salary. But that would have come out of the defense budget. The SIV scam passes the buck to local cities and states, to ordinary taxpayers and communities who have to hire interpreters who speak Pashto to interact with the children of the interpreters who are swamping local school systems.

One Iraqi or Afghan employee brings a lot more dependents and expenses with him. In 2017, the 4,677 Iraqi and Afghan employees brought 13,713 dependents with them for a total of 18,390 refugees.

Those were the worst numbers since before Obama took office.

While conventional refugee numbers have been slashed, the number of Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqis and Afghans drastically shot up because the Pentagon was getting its way on immigration. Few of these visas were for actual interpreters. That number tends to be capped at 50 a year. Most of the SIV applicants coming in had to have only worked for a few years in often vaguely defined capacities.

Some were actual interpreters. Many more were cultural advisors and linguists.

All they have to do is claim that they received threats over their work for the US or the ISAF, the multinational force in Afghanistan, and they are resettled in the United States as refugees.

While the media has repeatedly accused President Trump of stopping interpreters from coming to this country even though they, allegedly, risked their lives, the number of SIV visas for Afghans and Iraqis shot up from 10,681 in 2014, to 14,383 in 2016, to 18,390 in 2017.

That's when Stephen Miller tried to slam on the brakes.

The media complains that visa processing isn’t fast enough. And that the lives of SIV applicants are at risk every day they’re living in their own country. But bypassing vetting puts American lives at risk.

As a measure of how bad the vetting is, Ali Yousif Ahmed Al-Nouri, the Emir of an Al Qaeda group in Fallujah, entered this country as a refugee and applied for disability. He then went to work as a military contractor on a California base, teaching soldiers deploying to Iraq about the local culture. That’s the typical sort of task that many SIV visas are provided for which require little more than English skills.

Was an Al Qaeda Emir employed by the US military in Iraq? Did Al-Nouri come here on an SIV visa? The answer is he probably did, but no one seems to be especially willing to ask or answer that question.

Bilal Abood came to the United States on an SIV visa. Like many SIV applicants, he had worked as a contract linguist in Iraq. Like most SIV applicants, he claimed to have faced threats because of his work.

Once in the United States, Abood began viewing ISIS beheading videos and tweeted, “I pledge obedience to the Caliphate Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.” That was the leader of ISIS.

"The United States is the enemy of Allah," he had said.

Jasim Mohammed Hasin Ramadon and Ali Mohammed Hasan Al Juboori, Mustafa Sataar Al Feraji, Ali Mohammed Hasan Al Juboori, and Yasir Jabbar Jasim, 5 Iraqis who who came to America on SIV visas, took part in the rape of an American woman in Colorado Springs who was abused so badly that there was blood splattered on the wall. Her mistake was sympathizing with the poor hapless refugees.

That’s our mistake as a country.

Ramadon, like the other SIV applicants celebrated by the media, had an NCO lobby for him. He appeared on Oprah, was featured in a book, and became a celebrity. Then he was hit with a restraining order for choking and threatening to kill his girlfriend. His crimes ended with the brutal rape of an older woman.

But the SIV lobby doesn’t care about the woman he nearly killed. Or the threat to Americans.

District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee involved in controversial decisions, like inventing a right to taxpayer-funded abortions for illegal migrants, ruled that the Trump administration must immediately start processing visa applications for SIV migrants and bring them to America.

Meanwhile the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020 provided 4,000 more SIV slots for Afghans.

Shutting down the SIV pipeline has been painfully difficult because the refugee program has broad bipartisan support from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, and from military brass.

In this case, it’s actually the bureaucracy that has saved American lives by slowing SIV visa processing.

The United States has spent years figuring out exactly how to throw in the towel in Afghanistan through some sort of meaningless deal with the Taliban, even as we continue passing out SIV visas to Afghan employees in a country we may be leaving at any time. And we are handing out SIV visas like candy to Iraqis even though we have a very limited military presence there that is not expected to last for long.

But facts have never stopped the SIV express from barreling through America at an incredible cost.

85% of SIV recipients have received refugee resettlement benefits. Over 17,000 have been dumped in California, over 10,000 in Texas, and over 7,000 in Virginia. In Virginia, that meant that over 800 Iraqi children and almost 2,000 Afghan children became part of the system. In Northern Virginia, SIV holders increased tenfold and doubled in just one year, putting a potential terrorist population close to the center of government, to top terror targets, including the headquarters of the CIA in Fairfax County.

Meanwhile a GAO report found that 60% of SIV refugees were unemployed after three months and 94% were on food stamps.

70% of Iraqi SIVs were unemployed.

In one single year, SIV refugees racked up $80 million in federal aid from two agencies alone. That doesn’t account for some federal refugee assistance programs that go on for as long as 5 years.

How many American soldiers could have been trained to speak Arabic or Pashto for that money?

As their number has grown, so has the monumental expense of subsidizing them. In 2008, SIV refugees accounted for only 1% of resettlement assistance. By 2017, SIV refugees made up a quarter of costs.

After 75,000 Iraqi and Afghan SIV recipients, maybe it’s time that we shut down the SIV scam, instead of expanding it, as politicians from both parties and Pentagon brass, keep insisting that we must do.

We currently have 14,000 troops in Afghanistan and over 55,000 Afghans here through the SIV program. There are 5,200 American military personnel in Iraq and over 20,000 Iraqis through the SIV program in America. We’ve resettled enough “interpreters” to fill Kalamazoo, Wilmington, or Boca Raton.

America is all “interpreted” out.

The US Army began deploying the Machine Foreign Language Translation System (MFLTS) in 2011. Millions of dollars have been signed in contracts for MFLTS systems that can provide automatic translations of Arabic, Pashto, Urdu, and many other languages. The system was deployed in 2017.

MFLTS is no doubt inferior to living translators. But software doesn’t shoot our soldiers in the back, rape women in Colorado Springs, demand food stamps, swamp social services in Virginia, or join ISIS.





Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.


Monday, February 17, 2020

How Lord of the Rings Brings Modern Day Orcs to England

By On February 17, 2020
Before The Hobbit movies could begin their trek through theaters, Warner Brothers and the Tolkien Estate had to settle their lawsuit over profits from the original movies for an undisclosed sum.

Christopher Tolkien, the now deceased son of the author, stated that the settlement would “allow The Tolkien Trust to properly pursue its charitable objectives."

The Tolkien Trust was founded by Tolkien’s children in the seventies to use some of the income from the estate of the celebrated philologist and author for charitable works. Two generations later, these works appear to have drifted quite far from anything that the conservative scholar might have wished.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was a staunch Catholic, a monarchist and proudly provincial. The Tolkien Trust funds fairly few Catholic and many international human rights causes. Its English charities would often have been best left unfunded considering the great harm that they do to the ‘shires’ of his land.

In 2018 and 2017, the Tolkien Trust sent a total of 80,000 pounds to Asylum Welcome. AW welcomes "asylum seekers, refugees and detainees" coming to Oxford and Oxfordshire. It boasts of its accomplishments in bringing Sudanese, Somalis, and Syrians to Oxford.

The majority of AW migrants come from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea.

AW partners with six Oxford and Oxfordshire "community organizations". Two of them are Syrian, two Somali, and one Sudanese. Its Syrian Resettlement program notes its success in registering Syrian asylum seekers for "benefits". That, in the name of an author who once raged at government taxation.

Not satisfied with bringing Muslim migrants to Oxford, AW also runs services for detained migrants who are due to be removed and claims to have "played an important part in… facilitating their release".

Oxford, like many places in the United Kingdom, that have suffered from mass migration from some of these countries, has experienced its own sex grooming ring scandal. More recently, Salman Ahmad, a Muslim refugee, gang raped a woman in Oxford after only being in the country for four months.

The orcs are about in Oxfordshire.

The Tolkien Trust sent 80,000 pounds to RefuAid which funds Syrian migrants in the UK. RefuAid, among other things, urges supporters to lobby MPs to increase local resettlement numbers. 75,000 pounds were sent to Doctors of the World UK which advocates for helping refugees access the NHS. And pumped another 70,000 into the Koestler Trust which aids prisoners and immigration detainees.

60,000 pounds was sent to La Cimade, which aids thousands of migrants entering France. 50,000 was sent to SOS Mediterranee and 10,000 pounds to Pilotes Voluntaires, which help migrants reach Europe.

The Tolkien Trust not only supports hypothetical, but actual Islamic terrorists by dispatching 190,000 pounds in the last two years to Reprieve. The British group boasts of having “led the fight for access to the men held at Guantánamo" and of having "secured freedom for more than 80 men."

Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve's founder, represented among others, Moazzam Begg, who returned to the UK and went on to found CAGE, a pro-terrorist group, and to urge sympathy for Al Qaeda.

CAGE called Jihadi John, the ISIS killer of Britons like David Haines and Alan Henning, a “beautiful man”.

Reprieve is currently working to free Haroon Gul, a senior commander of the Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin terror group, which has been allied with ISIS, and Towfiq Bihani, a member of an Al Qaeda family who knew the original head of ISIS and threatened beheadings and another 9/11 attack.

In a tragic irony, the Tolkien Trust is using the proceeds from Lord of the Rings to fund modern day orcs.

After September 11, some found inspiration in the invocation of the battle between good and evil of the films. Unbeknownst to them, the films may have ended up funding that very evil we were fighting.

Using the proceeds of Tolkien’s explorations of Middle Earth, the Tolkien Trust is spending a good deal of money on Muslim charities and on organizations doing a great deal of work in the Middle East.

In the last two years, the Tolkien Trust has sent 41,000 pounds to Basmeh and Zeitooneh, a Syrian refugee charity, 60,000 pounds together in the last two years to the Aladdin Project and Association IMAD, two Muslim dialogue organizations in France, and 300,000 pounds to Medecins du Monde and 400,000 to Medecins Sans Frontihres, the original group, for its work in Libya and Yemen.

While J.R.R. Tolkien was conservative, the Tolkien Trust’s spending on matters unrelated to its founder is similar to any other leftist trust. There’s 10,000 pounds for Greenpeace, 50,000 for Peace Brigades International, which has a history of supporting Marxists, and 110,000 pounds for another anti-war group. Considering Tolkien’s views of the Spanish Civil War, he would not have supported PBI.

This obsession with “international relations and peace building” would have been foreign to him.

There’s plenty of money for criminal charities like the Howard League for Penal Reform, the Shannon Trust, the New Bridge Foundation, and the Prison Phoenix Trust. And for homeless charities. Yet for an organization funded by the work of Tolkien, a devout Christian, it’s striking how few Christian organizations are funded by the Trust.

Last week, I wrote of how the Roddenberry Foundation was exploiting the funds of the Star Trek creator to subsidize Islamists and racists who hate this country, its achievements and its ideals. There is a similar tragedy in the work of another fantastic creator being used to fund agendas he would have loathed.

The Trust is funded by some US copyrights of Lord of the Rings, along with assorted other
translations and fragmentary works that Tolkien never chose to publish in his lifetime, but that have been used to feed a demand for Lord of the Rings material. No matter how unpublishable it really might be. And, perversely, those who buy books of Tolkien’s philosophical works and letters are funding the Trust.

J.R.R. Tolkien was profoundly suspicious of power, yet his Trust is used to fund the causes of a Sauronesque leftist political movement that believes in total power over all people for their own good.

"I am not a 'socialist' in any sense - being adverse to 'planning',” Tolkien wrote. “most of all because the 'planners', when they acquire power, become so bad—but I would not say we had to suffer the malice of Sharkey and his Ruffians here. Though the spirit of 'Isengard', if not of Mordor, is always cropping up.”

His Trust has imbibed the spirit of Isengard enough to embrace socialism and what comes with it.

In the Scouring of the Shire, the final struggle of Lord of the Rings, the hobbits return home to discover a devastated socialist landscape with lists of rules and ‘sharers’ collecting all the food, where the native farmers have been intimidated by “squint-eyed and sallow-faced” robbers acting as tax collectors.

If J.R.R. Tolkien were to return today, he would discover that his own Trust is filling the UK with orcs.





Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

2020 Democrat Nomination for Sale

By On February 16, 2020
In 2016, Donald Trump proved that money won’t buy you the Republican nomination. In 2020, his likely challengers are proving that not only can you buy the Democrat nomination, but it’s the best way.

Michael Bloomberg is making headlines for spending $300 million on advertising to buy third place. That doesn’t include the $10,000 spent on sushi, $250,000 on furniture, and six figure staffer salaries. With a $61 billion net worth, the billionaire just decided to buy the primaries. And his buying spree is working.

The Dems claim to hate billionaires, but two of them successfully bought into the race, Bloomberg and Steyer, while completely lacking the populist appeal that propelled Trump to the top. The Bloomberg-Steyer spending sprees have set off a dieback in the Dem 2020 race where only those candidates with lots of cash can even compete. Warren’s campaign is crumbling along with her financial prospects.

Steyer is cutting off Biden at the knees in South Carolina and Bloomberg will probably finish him on Super Tuesday. That will leave Buttigieg and Sanders as the only non-billionaires with a real shot.

What makes a socialist from Vermont and the failed mayor of a midwestern city competitive?

Money. Lots and lots of money.

Bernie Sanders raised $25 million in January. Buttigieg put together almost $3 million after Iowa.

While Bernie fulminates about the rich, he’s in second place and rising because he has so much more money to spend than his opponents, including Biden, do. That is the real secret of his success.

The socialist outspent his rivals by $15 million. He blew through $50 million in the final months of the year to buy the surge that put him over the top. In January, Bernie spent $8 million on ads, Buttigieg spent $6.5 million, Warren $5.4 million, while Biden was down to $2.4 million. Spending money doesn't ensure results, but it certainly helps. Buttigieg’s “surprise” was really spending a lot of money.

Bloomberg and Bernie are both elderly New Yorkers with unpleasant personalities and a lot of cash. The distinction between buying an election with your own money or grassroots fundraising is virtue signaling. What does matter is that the 2020 nomination is for sale to those with the money to buy.

Enough money can make otherwise non-viable candidates like Bernie and Bloomy into ‘contendahs’.

Bernie’s fans will argue that his money comes from “small donors”. But what that leaves out is that the small donors are privileged lefties with lots of money to throw at elections. It was enough to buy Iowa, but the caucus results also showed that Bernie has no crossover appeal and isn’t boosting turnout.

Both Bernie and Buttigieg benefit from the same kind of money machine printed by an enthusiastic fan base. And the fan base sees the two men, less as viable presidential candidates, and more as a means of mainstreaming a larger campaign that they care about even more than winning an election. Bernie’s fans would trade losing the 2020 election for a takeover of the Democrats. That’s always the agenda.

And much of Buttigieg’s cash flow has come from gay donors who care less about him winning than about his presence on a national stage. Unlike the donors of the other 2020 candidates, who fold when their candidate stops being viable, the money machines funding Sanders and Buttigieg will never stop.

Much like Bloomberg and Steyer’s cash machines.

Bloomberg’s $61 billion fortune is formidable, but so is the net worth of Bernie and Buttigieg’s bases.

Biden’s donors have always been shaky. They’re investors, looking to buy influence, and aren’t going to sink good money after bad. They’re not going to keep spending money because they want to see Joe kissing little girls on the lips in Florida, groping matrons in Minnesota, or slurring speeches in South Carolina. Biden’s only real shot was sealing the deal out of the gate. And now he’s in trouble.

In the final quarter of the years, Sanders and Buttigieg both outraised Biden. Warren nearly did.

Where Trump had underspent his primary rivals, his prospective opponents are outspending them. And that’s good news for Trump and bad news for the Democrats who are going to be fighting a populist who got to the White House by beating money machines with another money machine candidate.

The Dem spending race is one reason why candidates who might have taken off with minority voters never got much traction. Building primary debates and fundraising around small donors allowed the passionate wealthy fanbases of Sanders and Buttigieg, or even Yang and Warren, to dominate the race. Meanwhile candidates who might have appealed to black voters never even got off the ground.

The two black candidates originally in the race, Harris and Booker, had little support in the black community, and had instead gotten as far as they did by cultivating wealthy white donors, Harris on San Francisco’s Nob Hill, and Silicon Valley and Manhattan for Booker, without ever building a black base.

They never did manage to pick up enduring black support in the race before their cash ran out.

If Biden collapses, the Democrats risk going into the 2020 race with a candidate who doesn’t appeal to black voters. That description covers Sanders, Bloomberg, and Buttigieg to varying degrees. And, without vigorous black turnout, the odds of a Democrat winning the White House are longer than long.

You can buy the nomination, but you can’t buy enthusiasm outside your narrow fanbase.

Bloomberg, at least, understands that and is going about buying the election in the most direct fashion. He’s avoided the debate stage until now, his campaigning is limited, and instead he’s spending a fortune on ads. He’s also paying influencers to tweet positively about him and, probably, buying endorsements.

The billionaire is trying to buy the nomination the same way his rivals are. He’s just not ashamed of it.

Bloomberg blew off the farce of the Iowa caucuses, the trek through New Hampshire diners, the pretense that this is about anything other than the thing he has more of than almost anybody else on the planet. Media bias? Bloomberg, the media outlet, is open about its campaign bias for its boss.

If this goes on, the 2020 primaries could narrow down to a battle between two deeply cynical campaigns headed by two New Yorkers, one a plutocrat and the other a socialist, with piles of money, and deep contempt for the process and the leadership of the party whose nomination they’re contesting.

Bernie Sanders isn’t a Democrat, except when running for the party’s nomination. Michael Bloomberg ran New York City as a Republican because the party was available and he bought it and a few others.

The 2020 Democrat nomination could very well come down to a race between two men who aren’t really Democrats, don’t care about the party, and are bypassing and trashing it at every opportunity.

The Sanders campaign is just the tip of the spear for a radical leftist takeover of the Democrats. Its base is animated by paranoia, malice and rage. Any primary Sanders loses must have been rigged. And every negative mention of Sanders is a neo-liberal conspiracy. They hate the Dems and the hatred is mutual.

At the 2016 convention, I spoke to Democrat delegates who, anonymously, voiced fear and distaste of the “crazy people”, as they often called Sanders supporters. Meanwhile, Sanders backers in Philly spoke of supporting the Green Party. No wonder, President Trump is cheerfully egging on the paranoia of the Sandernistas, convinced that the process is rigged against them, partly because it is, and partly because they’re projecting what they would do on to their opponents as totalitarian movements always do.

Bloomberg doesn’t have a campaign. He bought one by paying everyone working for him more. There’s no movement here. But, if Biden and Buttigieg fall, he becomes the default candidate of other Dems.

And Bloomberg’s political career comes down to spending enough money to be the default candidate.

In a field of terrible candidates, he aspires to be the boring candidate that the battered DNC spouses will settle for, who can buy a general election the way that he’s trying to buy the primaries. It’s cynical.

But so is the whole race.

What does it say about Democrats that they’re being bought? All the billionaire bashing, the attacks on Wall Street and Silicon Valley, the small donor qualifiers for the debate stage and the PAC virtue signaling were meant to establish that they weren’t about money, but about ideas and principles.

But much of the party, in poll after poll, appears to be willing to vote for anyone who will stop Trump.

It doesn’t matter if he’s a socialist or a plutocrat, or a guy with hair plugs deep in his brain. Democrats have shown that they have the same set of standards as any gold digger: a lot of money and a pulse.

In the polls, Democrats have shrugged off any interest in nominating a black person or a woman. They don’t especially care about policies. Their only concern is with electability and retaking the White House. And electability means a big campaign machine, a lot of ads, a lot of publicity, and a lot of money.

Billionaires are trying to buy the nomination because the Democrats prostituted their party. They put themselves up for sale to the highest bidder in a desperate effort to stop President Trump.

They didn’t expect a guy with $61 billion to show up.

But, after all the virtue signaling, just like any gold digger, they’re sending the message that he’ll do.






Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

An Al Qaeda Emir Came to America and Applied for Disability

By On February 13, 2020
After engaging in terrorism in Iraq, an Al Qaeda leader came to America as a refugee and applied for Social Security disability benefits because his “injuries” in Iraq had made it too hard for him to work.

In 2006, Ali Yousif Ahmed Al-Nouri was the Emir of an Al Qaeda terrorist group in Fallujah. The Iraqi city was the scene of brutal battles between Al Qaeda and America. It was where American soldiers had suffered the most casualties in any battle since the Vietnam War. Despite multiple defeats, Al Qaeda remained deeply entrenched in the city and was even able to seize a number of neighborhoods in 2014.

By then, Al-Nouri was living in Arizona.

Only 2 years after being the Emir of an Al Qaeda group, Al-Nouri had traded the deserts of Al-Anbar for the deserts of the Southwest. How was an Al Qaeda leader able to move to the United States?

Easy. He claimed to be a refugee from Al Qaeda.

In 2008, the United States raised the refugee admission celling to 80,000 to accommodate the surge of Iraqis applying to come to the United States. The Iraqis claimed to be fleeing terrorism, but some, like Al-Nouri were terrorists, and our refugee resettlement program was not interested in telling them apart.

A quarter of refugees that year were Iraqis. The Al Qaeda leader was one of 13,823 Iraqi refugees. The huge increase from 1,608 in 2007, made any real screening of the Iraqis all but impossible. And, worse still, Iraqis, like Al-Nouri, were in the top 3 refugee groups and their claims were processed 'in-country'.

"In-country processing", as noted by the Center of American Progress, makes "the process less onerous and cumbersome for Iraqis seeking asylum by allowing for in-country visa processing, making screening less restrictive." And what migrants from Al-Qaeda’s stronghold needed was less restrictive screenings.

The less restrictive screenings were one of Senator Ted Kennedy’s final immigration gifts to America. The Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act was introduced by Ted Kennedy, backed by Grover Norquist, and co-sponsored by Joe Biden, Pat Leahy, Chuck Hagel, Dick Durbin, Bob Menendez and Barack Obama.

The disastrous legislation cosponsored by Obama and Biden no doubt helped ease Al-Nouri’s path.

"The United States has a clear responsibility to support these brave Iraqis who have stood by us," Senator Ted Kennedy had insisted.

And Al-Nouri, like many other fake refugees, pretended to be one of those imaginary Iraqis. He did such a good job of pretending that under Obama, the Al Qaeda leader became a military contractor.

The Emir’s job was training American soldiers preparing to deploy to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq (the group that would eventually be known as ISIS) about Iraqi culture.

After arriving in the United States as a refugee, the Al Qaeda leader applied for Social Security disability. Refugees applying for Social Security disability payments is a popular scam that hurts Americans.

But Al-Nouri claimed to have been shot by Al Qaeda terrorists and that he had 20 bullets in his body.

The 20 bullets might have been real, but they likely came from either the Iraqi or United States forces that Al-Nouri might have fought. The Emir had not only contrived to come to America as a refugee, but to make taxpayers foot the bill for his bullet wounds that he had picked up while fighting for Al Qaeda.

Despite the Al Qaeda leader’s supposed disability, he was able to work as a military contractor in California and to open a driving school, the A-Plus Driving School, in Phoenix.

1,050 Iraqi refugees were resettled in Arizona in 2008. Iraqis were the number one refugee group resettled everywhere from Alabama to Virginia. But Arizona had the highest share of Iraqis in any state outside Michigan's Islamic enclaves. Al-Nouri became one of 12,329 Iraqi refugees operating in Arizona.

When Al-Nouri came to this country, Arizona was accepting the most refugees per capita of any state. Money for resettling refugees poured into the state which was happy to take in Muslims from Yugoslavia, then Sudan, and Iraq. The Iraqi community in Phoenix boomed. Along with Al-Nouri.

And the problems have been growing.

Last month, the 9th Circuit Court ruled that Mohammed Mostafa Altayar, an Iraqi refugee, could be deported after he had threatened another man with a gun and assaulted him in 2014. But that sort of thing hasn’t stopped Arizona politicians, including Republicans, from demanding more refugees.

After the last September 11 anniversary, numerous Arizona representatives, including Republicans signed on to a Welcome Refugees 2020 letter, demanding that President Trump bring more refugees.

Meanwhile, in Phoenix, even as the Al Qaeda leader’s driving school was touting, “peace of mind”, the refugee belatedly attracted government attention after flying to Istanbul: a common ISIS travel route.

FBI agents questioned Al-Nouri and appeared to suspect that he might have traveled to Iraq.

Now, Al-Nouri was finally arrested for extradition to Iraq, where he is suspected of the murder of two Iraqi police officers as the leader of an Al Qaeda group operating in Fallujah. While having Iraq request his extradition may be a simpler process than trying to bring him to trial here, it’s far from easy.

Last year, the FBI busted Omar Ameen, an Iraqi refugee in Sacramento, for his role in Al Qaeda and ISIS. But efforts to send him back for trial to Iraq have been stymied by an aggressive media campaign with the New Yorker and CBS News, not to mention pseudo-conservative sites like Bill Kristol’s The Bulwark and The American Conservative, launching a campaign in the alleged ISIS terrorist’s defense.

There is every reason to think that Al-Nouri will benefit from the same defense.

Iraqis in Phoenix have already come to Al-Nouri’s defense, describing him as a popular figure in the community. They claim that they had no idea that he could have been an Al Qaeda terrorist.

That’s unlikely.

In a culture with massive extended families and tribes whose members do everything, whether it’s fighting Al Qaeda or joining Al Qaeda as a group, coming out of a major Iraqi city, Al-Nouri’s story would not have fooled everyone in his community. But Al-Nouri was far from the only terrorist to come to America as a refugee. We don’t know how many terrorists who pretended to be fighting Al Qaeda tricked the system to come to America. And we don’t know how many more are coming now.

The Pentagon, which had hired an Al Qaeda Emir to train troops deploying to Iraq, recently warned again that failing to bring Iraqi refugees to America will undermine our national security. Military brass complained that the FBI’s more intensive screenings were keeping too many Iraqi refugees out.

The number of Iraqis coming to America on special visas had dropped to a mere 3,000 in 2017.

The FBI found suspicious information on 87 out of 88 Iraqis who had been specially screened in 2018. Instead of praising the FBI for doing its job, the Pentagon complained that it was doing its job too well.

In a White House meeting, an unnamed senior Pentagon official proposed exempting Iraqis from President Trump’s lowered refugee cap.

The battle over Iraqi refugees pitted White House advisor Stephen Miller against the Pentagon. The outcome is 4,000 refugee slots for Iraqis, some legitimate refugees and some Islamic terrorists.

Most governors, Democrats and Republicans, have indicated that they will keep admitting refugees.

On a quiet desert lot, in Surprise, AZ, the horrible surprise of an Al Qaeda Emir living next door in a quarter-of-a-million house should come as no surprise. It’s just refugee resettlement at work.






Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A Communist Paper That Praised the Rape and Murder of Jews Gets a Modern Makeover

By On February 12, 2020
On a bloody Sabbath in 1929, a Muslim mob massacred the Jewish community of Hebron.

The mob used knives, axes, and stones to kill men, women, and children. Many of the women were raped before being murdered. The Islamist atrocities committed against them defy comprehension.

Pierre van Paassen, the Canadian journalist, described seeing, "severed sexual organs and the cut-off women's breasts". A more recent summary notes, “Photographs from the time show a girl struck on the head by a sword with her brain spilling out, a woman with bandaged hands, people with their eyes gouged out, a man whose hand had been savagely amputated, and other grisly sights.”

Who, outside the perpetrators, could endorse and support such crimes? The Communist Party.

The Morgen Freiheit, the Communist Party's Yiddish newspaper in New York, headlined its article, “The Arab Uprising is Spreading - Zionist Fascists Have Provoked the Arab Uprising.”

"It is not innocent blood," the Communist paper insisted, of the murdered religious students, and
families, "It is the blood of people who went to war against another people on alien land."

A resolution praised the massacre of Jews as a "revolutionary uprising of the Arab masses in Palestine."

The Freiheit even held a rally in support of the mass murder, rapes and mutilations by its Muslim allies.

Jewish communities in New York and Chicago reacted by burning copies of the Communist rag, and setting fire to the newsstands that sold it. Many Jewish newspaper sellers announced a boycott of the Freiheit. No one would advertise in the paper and buying it became a badge of shame. Anyone with the least bit of decency resigned. The remaining staff were expelled, reviled, and even beaten in the streets.

Like other Communist papers, the Morgen Freiheit endorsed the Hitler-Stalin pact. In response, Jewish workers assaulted Communists who tried to defend their alliance with the Nazis, calling them, “Communazis”, and taunting them with chants of, “Heil Hitler.” Even Freiheit staffers who had defended the massacre of Jews in Hebron began to drop out of the Communist paper.

80 years after the Hitler-Stalin pact, Bernie Sanders wrote an editorial, “How to Fight Antisemitism” for the Freiheit’s latest incarnation, Jewish Currents. The magazine had not run in Yiddish for a long time. And, officially, it was no longer Communist. Instead, you could see articles like, “In Defense of Marxism”, “Raya Dunayevskaya and Marxist Humanism”, and “Why I'm (Still) a Marxist”. It was perfect for Bernie.

Like his Stalinist predecessors, Bernie stuck to the party line, and pretended that there was no such thing as leftist or Islamist anti-Semitism. He didn’t mention his position on the Hitler-Stalin pact.

The former Communist magazine had gotten a major relaunch last year under Jacob Plitman, a former deputy director of the anti-Israel group J Street U, to try and appeal to millennials who hate Israel. That meant fewer historical pieces about old Communists and Marxists, and more current hatred of Israel.

The reboot was funded by the Puffin Foundation run by the Rosensteins who also work with The Nation.

Now Jewish Currents is going back to its roots by bringing in Peter Beinart, who had called the murder of Jews by Islamic terrorists, “violent resistance”.

Terrorism, he had argued, was a “response to Israel’s denial of basic Palestinian rights.” And he suggested that, “the Israeli government is reaping what it has sowed."

Beinart is certainly reaping what he sowed as his career tumbles down into the media sewer.

In 2012, Beinart had partnered with the Daily Beast to launch Open Zion, an anti-Israel blog. It closed a year later after failing to find an audience for its hate. Beinart moved on to Haaretz, a red rag whose racist publisher urged “international pressure” to end, “Israeli apartheid”, whose world news editor boasted that he is an anti-Zionist, and whose former editor had urged Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to “rape” Israel. "It had always been my wet dream to see this happen," the leftist told her.

Is there anywhere lower Beinart could go?

After Haaretz, he appeared at The Forward, the Morgen Freitheit’s old rival, which runs headlines like, "3 Jewish Moguls Among Eight Who Own as Much as Half the Human Race” and "Why We Should Applaud The Politician Who Said Jews Control The Weather."

There, he accused Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel of being “blind to the harm Jews cause.”

Last year, The Forward dumped its editor and cut 40% of its staff. Instead of taking the advice of Haman’s wife, Beinart doubled down and joined its old even more anti-Semitic Commie rival.

"I think a tremendous need for a kind of American progressive Jewish publication," Beinart babbled, explaining that he wanted to "confront what I see as the kind of moral corruption of the American Jewish establishment and its complicity in various ways with some of the things that Trump is doing and the direction that Netanyahu is taking Israel.”

The only moral corruption is 91 years of Communists, Marxists, and Lefties justifying the murder of Jews.

The Hebron massacre had been urged on by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, later popularly known as Hitler’s Mufti for his meetings with the Nazi leader and alliance with the Third Reich. The Mufti, an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, paved the way for the Muslim Brotherhood’s arms in Israel, which include Hamas.

The Syrian Islamist terror leader, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, a Mufti ally, whose Black Hand group carried out attacks against Jews in Israel, became the model for Hamas, its Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Beinart spent the last decade promoting ties to Hamas. In 2009, he had hailed, “Hamas” as “U.S. Diplomacy's Final Frontier”. In 2011, he had insisted, “A shift in US and Israeli policy towards Hamas is long overdue.” Last year, he compared Israel’s blockade of Hamas to Hiroshima and the Soviet gulags.

There is a sense of history coming full circle as Jewish Currents, the magazine twice renamed and spun off from the Morgen Freiheit, returns to its folly, as King Solomon wrote, a dog returns to its vomit.

The Morgen Freiheit had been the Communist rival to The Forward, a socialist paper, but one that nonetheless opposed the Islamist massacres of Jews in 1929 and the Hitler-Stalin pact. In those days, any leftist with a shred of conscience or decency had left the Freiheit and the Communist Party for more moderate publications and organizations. Some even became patriots and conservatives.

Beinart has traveled the opposite road. Back in his New Republic days, he wrote after September 11, “The left has proved remarkably creative over the years at blaming virtually any Middle Eastern malfeasance...on the Jewish State.” Then he became the hack he was describing to advance his career.

After decades of blaming everything on the Jewish State, the Crisis of Beinartism has arrived.

Once upon a time, Beinart was touted by the elderly anti-Israel donors and their organizations as the young voice of a new generation. But the voice of a new generation is pushing fifty. And scrambling in the political basement to revamp an ancient Communist magazine as the voice of a new generation.

Beinartism has taken him on the opposite route of the Jewish intellectuals who left the Communist Party for the New Republic. Instead, Beinart left the New Republic for the reds.

What’s next for the leading anti-Israel pundit in America? Al Jazeera? Jacobin? Pravda?

And yet Beinart isn’t entirely wrong about a moral crisis in the Jewish community. When the Communist newspaper that was his current platform’s predecessor defended the Islamic murder of Jews, it was boycotted, its leading figures were driven out of Jewish organizations, and its offices were besieged.

91 years later, Beinart knows that he’ll be invited to speak at conferences, organizations, and events. Nearly a century ago, Jewish workers who were just scraping by put their few pennies on the line to take a stand against the Freiheit. Now, Jewish Currents will be circulated by the Jewish establishment groups.

After the Hitler-Stalin pact, Peretz Markish, a leftist Jewish poet in the Soviet Union, met up with an old friend of his. The latter showed Peretz an editorial written by Moyshe Nadir, once a leading figure in the Morgen Freiheit, who had declared that he was leaving the Communist paper after the Hitler-Stalin Pact.

"Moyshe Nadir has revealed that he raised a snake around his neck," Markish replied. "Only he nourished this snake around his neck? Only he alone? And maybe all of us weaned the snake? And a time may come when this full-grown snake will choke all of us.... Yes, if it keeps going like it's been going, the time will come that the snake wrapped around our necks will choke us."

A few years later, he joined the Communist Party. Four years later, he received the Stalin Prize. A decade after that original conversation, he was arrested and charged with being a Jewish nationalist.

In 1952, he was secretly executed.

Two decades later, Esther Markish, his widow, wrote a courageous open letter, imploring for international pressure on the Soviet Union to allow her to leave for Israel, "Help us, our writers, the conscience of our people, help us to return to the soil of our holy homeland."

There are two sides. The side of the snake, of Beinart, of the Morgen Freiheit and Jewish Currents, and the side of those who will be choked by the snake, in Hebron, Moscow, or New York City.

When we pay dues to an organization or a synagogue that invites Beinart, when we subscribe to a magazine that publishes him, then we, like that long-dead poet, are feeding the snake.

Once upon a time, Jews were outraged when the murder of their people was excused and defended. Today they continue attending synagogues, paying dues, and funding the establishment that invites the defenders of their murderers to appear on panels, speak at podiums, and sell their books.

That is the true moral corruption of the American Jewish establishment. And it is unforgivable.






Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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Monday, February 10, 2020

The Future Doesn’t Belong to China

By On February 10, 2020
In the 1980s, movies like Die Hard and Back to the Future 2 showed off a Japanese takeover of America. Japan had leveraged unfair trade policies, currency manipulation, and government subsidies to buy up American companies (it’s still happening, but few are paying attention) and was the wave of the future sweeping over America.

Everyone was driving Japanese cars, using Japanese electronics, and buying "Made in Japan." And Japan got there by stealing massive amounts of American intellectual property and reselling it to Americans.

By 1991, George Friedman’s book, The Coming War With Japan, was flying off the shelves.

Why doesn’t the future belong to Japan? There are economic answers. But there’s also a demographic answer. Japan entered the 1980s with an acceptably healthy 14 births per 1,000 people birth rate. The Japanese rate back then was only a little below America’s own 15 births per 1,000 people number.

But throughout the 80s, while Japan was supposed to be taking over America, its economy was impressive, but its birth rate was cratering at an even more impressive rate. By 1991, the future not only didn’t belong to Japan, but at a rate of 10 births per 1,000 people, it didn’t even have a future of its own.

Japan had entered the 1980s with a median age of 32. It left the decade with a median age of 37. By 2000, the median age was 40. Today, it approaches 50. The median Japanese age had passed fertility.

The Japanese had foreclosed their own future.

What were they doing instead of having children? Buying stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. Economic consumption rose and marriage dropped away.

The origins of Japan’s boom lay in the 70s with a marriage boom which led to a massive baby boom. The energized population seemed as if it might take over the world. But Japan’s ‘baby boomers’ instead decided to enjoy the good life. Today the marriage rate is less than half that. The Japanese went from marrying in their twenties to marrying in their thirties. Maternal age at birth also rose from the twenties to the thirties. The nation’s fertility rate is at 1.42. Far below replacement rate. That means no future.

The first part of this story should sound familiar. Just substitute the People’s Republic of China for Japan.

China's birth rate is down to 1.6. At 10.48 births per 1,000 people, it’s below America’s, 11.8. And while you might be inclined to blame the Communist dictatorship’s One Child Policy, the PRC trashed the OCP precisely because the regime is worried about its declining birth rate. The PRC’s poor birth rate has its origins in its poor marriage rate. China’s marriage rate sank down to 7.2 per 1,000 people.

That’s above America’s 6.5 rate, but it’s trending downward and in the same direction. And the average number conceals the full scope of the bad news. While the national rate was 7.2, in Shanghai it was 4.4. Meanwhile divorces in Beijing hit 39%. As China’s population moves from the rural to the urban, trading farm work for tech jobs, marriage rates drop, divorce rates rise, and birth rates continue their decline.

Like the Japanese, China’s rising middle class wants to enjoy the materialistic pleasures of consumerism.

What happened to Japan is exactly what happened to Europe. And what’s been happening to America and much of the first world. But the problem hits Asian countries harder because of the sharp transition from one kind of society to another, while the citizenry lack the moral cushioning of religious values.

The People’s Republic of China is vigorously fighting Christianity, but its own mixture of Communism and Confucianism has failed to meet the challenges of prosperity. The regular crackdowns on government corruption are only spurring more cynicism. And a social credit system will create an artificial digital pressure that, like any other totalitarian system, will be evaded and only generate more hypocrisy

Not even America’s Silicon Valley technocrats believe that the internet is a substitute for morality.

Whatever the Communist Party may command, China’s metropolitan populations, especially the women, are, like their Japanese counterparts, avoiding marriage and parenthood, with the same results.

By 2030, there will be more People’s Republic of China citizens over the age of 65 than under 14. With a declining workforce, the PRC will be unable to sustain its growth as its population ages. Its pension funds are officially projected to run out of money by 2035. The real figures are probably worse.

The PRC threatens other countries, but if its demographics continue their downward spiral, it will become unable to maintain control even over the territories that it already has. To understand China’s obsession with Xinjiang, look at its birth rate which is much higher than the rest of the country. That’s why the PRC keeps trying to figure out not only how to de-Islamize Xinjiang, but to reduce its birth rate.

China’s median age is at 38.4. That’s about Japan’s median age when its house of cards began to fall. The PRC’s boom was powered by a population in its twenties. By the oughts, it entered the low 30s. It’s now sliding inevitably closer to the big four zero. By 2040, China’s median age will be 46.

That’s the same pathway which took Japan from a potential world power to a society of senior citizens.

China has a much larger population. But that just means it’s going to have a great many elderly people and childless singles who aren’t willing to sacrifice their consumer lifestyle to any greater purpose.

And why should they?

What larger purpose does China offer its younger generation except consumer goods? The Communist leadership avoided the fate of the USSR by turning into the factory and warehouse of capitalism. But a diet of technological conveniences doesn’t predispose the citizenry to anything more than comfort. Nationalism and xenophobia keep China’s population hostile to America and the outside world, but haven’t convinced its netizens to do anything more than post nasty comments about President Trump.

China currently has the surplus population for a war or a number of wars, but, as Russia and Germany could tell it, after the war, the surplus population is gone and there’s no more where it came from.

Japan had nothing but nationalism, xenophobia, and consumer goods to offer its citizens. That didn’t make Japan into a formidable superpower, but a nation of elderly singles with really great computers. China also has nothing to offer its population except nationalism, xenophobia, and consumer goods. And its cities are full of aging single women with some of the best smartphones and shoes on the market.

This isn’t just bad news for the PRC. It’s also bad news for the USA.

The decline of family and religion means that we are and have been headed to the same place for some time. Our demographics have been artificially inflated by mass migration, but the influx of cheap labor is no substitute for natural growth. And the stress of mass migration is cracking the country apart while providing few benefits except a population of unskilled laborers who, unlike China’s rural to urban farmers, aren’t fueling manufacturing, but propping up middle class lifestyles at taxpayer expense.

The problem in America, Europe, and Asia is that the wonders of the Industrial Revolution have been redirected to little more than personal conveniences, while our societies have shed everything else, religion, culture, purpose, and family, leaving behind comfortable societies with no future.

The People’s Republic of China is not going to take over the world. Its expansive ambitions are impressive, but they’re built on a materialistic decadence that will destroy them. Mercantile empires can be built on greed and a love of pleasure, but as the price grows too high, they fall the same way.

The free market is superior not because of some innate magic of the system, a hall of mirrors that some libertarians wander into and then never leave, but because it allows people to pursue worthwhile goals, whether it’s raising a family, inventing the airplane, or anything in between. When the only goal is waiting to buy an 8K television, then the market becomes a Skinner box that destroys those who use it.

Free markets are means, not ends. And a society needs some higher transcendent purpose. People need to believe that they exist for something more than a few immediate pleasures followed by death.

China’s demographics convey a society with no purpose except its own gratification. And, like Japan before it, the People’s Republic of China isn’t building an empire, it’s destroying a society.





Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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